Owners of ex-Avantair Aircraft See Path Forward

 - September 12, 2013, 3:36 PM
Piaggio Aero released a Service Bulletin yesterday that outlines the inspections needed to get the ex-Avantair Piaggio Avantis back in the sky. These aircraft, which haven’t flown since early June when Avantair shut down, were officially grounded by the FAA last month when the agency revoked their airworthiness certificates.

A bankruptcy hearing for Avantair held yesterday in Tampa, Fla., brought some needed good news for share owners of the 56 ex-Avantair Piaggio Avantis, with the Italian OEM unveiling a path for them to get their aircraft back in the sky. These aircraft, which haven’t flown since early June when Avantair shut down, were officially grounded by the FAA last month when the agency revoked their airworthiness certificates.

During the hearing, Piaggio released a 22-page mandatory Service Bulletin (SB) that outlines inspections needed for the ex-Avantair aircraft to regain airworthiness certification. The SB includes a list of “documentary, physical and functional checks deemed necessary to demonstrate the airworthiness of the airplane.” There are three parts to the bulletin: verification of aircraft documentation; maintenance checks after prolonged inactivity; and functional checks.

According to Piaggio, the SB can be done in approximately 40 man-hours, in addition to 130 man-hours required by a “Piaggio team of supervisory technicians.” However, this estimate of labor hours does not include any maintenance needed to correct discrepancies or accomplish compliance with other SBs or Airworthiness Directives. The document does not provide any estimates for part and labor costs.